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Saturday, September 20, 2014

the winding arterial road in Chennai called Mount Road aka Anna Salai

It is a road that traverses more than 10 kilo meters – definitely not straight – with so many curves – perhaps no particular reason why this long winding one starting nearer Muthusamy Bridge till St Thomas Mount should have a common name ………. It is the famous Mount Road of Chennai – renamed ‘Anna Salai’ – a statue of former CM Annadurai stands on its interjunction with Wallajah road**

Anna Salai, formerly known as Mount Road is the most important -  arterial road in Chennai, starting from the Cooum Creek, south of Fort St George and ending at the Kathipara Junction in Guindy.  By some reports it is more than 400 years old taking its shape during the time of Charles Macartney who served as Governor of Madras.

There are so many historical and so many important landmarks on this road starting from Island Grounds, Munroe statue, Gymkhana, The Mail, The Hindu, P.ORR sons, Ritchie Street, Khadi,   the Multi Speciality Hospital,  Devi Complex,  Higginbothams, LIC Building (the first skyscraper of Madras); Agurchand Mansion; Spencer, TVS, Victoria Technical Institute, IOB HO, Devaneyapavanar Library, Anand Complex, United India HO, Saffire complex, Churchpark, Gemini flyover ……….and more on the other side of the fly over too…. (there are/were more theatres Anna, Santhi, Wellington, Alankar, ….  Saffire was a complex housing Blue Diamond and Emerald (Safire screened English films exclusively, Blue Diamond fashioned as an ‘art theatre’ had continuous shows; Emerald ran popular films in Hindi and Tamil)

Here are couple of photos taken by me recently – see the Mount Road changes its streams now thanks to Chennai Metro work that is on – soon, you would be travelling under the famous Mount road aka Anna Salai.

**There is an interesting anecdote that in Jan 1975, West Indies Team was passing through this (the road to Chepauk stadium is Wallajah road) and from Connemara hotel, Teams had to travel via Mount Road – Alvin Kalicharran, the classy left hander was unhappy over decision; reportedly why the man in statue is declaring him out ! ….. the Umpires were - B Satyaji Rao and MS Sivasankariah; the test those days had a rest day and being Pongal, the third day was the rest day then …. May not be true as Kali was caught in the slips by Vishwanath off Bedi in the 1st and ran himself out in the 2nd.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

20th Sept. 2014.

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